After a weekend of elation, it was time to get back to the big ol’ bird. Yes, you heard right. We are roasting another turkey! I just had to buy it from Safeway last Thursday because it was the last day where Canada Grade A young turkeys were sold at 99¢/lb. Although Walmart had theirs selling at 95¢/lb, their expiry dates were too close for safe keeping in the fridge because we would be away for that weekend. Furthermore, I would have to keep it from last Thursday till today (that was a total of 5 days). The wise choice is to buy it from Safeway. After all, I paid only CAD$15.94 for a 7.23 kg young turkey, and the expiry date stamped 06 Jan 2014! The following picture shows how much it would have cost me if there was no sale.
By the time we returned from the Canadian Rockies since yesterday, my big bird had been perched on the base shelf in our refrigerator, thawing away since we were gone. Today shall be the day this bird see some light, and feel some heat! Yay! Following my post on “Sorry Turkey”, some of you have asked me for the recipe for my roasted turkey done Gordon Ramsay style, no secret, here it is:
Ingredients: 1 Young Turkey of 6 to 7 kg 5 Tbs Butter (at room temperature) 6 cloves of garlic, crushed 3 Tbs dried Thyme leaves 3 Tbs dried Rosemary leaves Olive oil Salt and Pepper 6 strips of Bacon 3 large Tomatoes, quartered 5 sticks of Carrot, cut into bite-sized chunks 1 medium Sweet Potato, cut into bite-sized chunks Method:
- DEFROST frozen turkey in the refrigerator. (See notes on “The Big Thaw”)
- PREHEAT oven to 450ºF.
- PREPARE herbed butter by using a rubber spatula to fold the garlic and the dried leaves of rosemary and thyme into the room temperature butter, until well mixed.
- RINSE the turkey, remove the giblets, pat dry with paper towels.
- PLACE the turkey into a roasting pan large enough to hold it, with the turkey breasts side up. With your hands, loosen the skin from the turkey breasts without breaking it. Do the same for the turkey thighs by feeling your way under the skin and down and out towards the turkey thighs.
- STUFF half the flavoured butter underneath the loosened skin, using the spatula to help even the spread under the skin.
- MASSAGE the remaining butter onto the surface of the entire bird, until the turkey is evenly coated with the herbed butter.
- DRIZZLE a little olive oil over the turkey breasts to prevent the butter from being burnt. Season well with salt and pepper.
- LAY the bacon strips over the turkey breasts to prevent breast meat from becoming dry.
- ROAST the turkey at 450ºF for 30 min. Then turn down the roasting temperature to 350ºF and continue roasting for the remaining 3 to 3.5 hrs.
- CHECK the turkey every 30 min after 2 hrs of roasting at 350ºF. If the turkey looks too browned on the surface, cover it with aluminum foil and continue roasting until it is cooked through.*
- During the last 1 hr of roasting time, place the tomatoes and root vegetables into the roasting pan to cook them in the turkey juices.
*To test whether your turkey is cooked, insert a knife into the thickest part of the leg and check that the juices are running clear, rather than pink. As oven temperatures and turkey shapes and sizes vary, it is crucial to check your turkey about 30 minutes before the calculated roasting time. If the juices are pink, roast for another 20 minutes and check again. Repeat as necessary until the turkey is cooked.
The Big Thaw
- While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely. Hence, immediately after grocery store checkout, take the frozen turkey home and store it in the freezer.
- To thaw in the refrigerator, a general rule of thumb is to allow 24 hrs for every 2 kg. E.g. a 6 kg turkey will require at least 3 days to thaw in a refrigerator, set at 4ºC or below.
- A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days before cooking.
- To rapid-thaw a turkey by submerging it in cold water, allow 30 min for every 500 grams. E.g. a 6 kg turkey will require at least 3 hrs to thaw in cold water. You will need to ensure that the water that the turkey is sitting in remain cold throughout the duration of thawing.
Looking back at this recipe which I’ve adapted from watching The Food Network channel and reading the Live Better Walmart magazine, I realised roasting a turkey by yourself is not apparently effortless. Thank God this time J was there to help me with the menial tasks like “bathing” the turkey and lifting it in and out the oven a few tines to test the doneness. Most importantly, he was there tending the roasting process so that I could bring baby E out for a walk on Christmas Eve. And of course last but not least, as the man of the family, carving the turkey and separating the white and dark meats into food containers to freeze them for other uses later. E.g. Garlic Butter Turkey Fried Rice which I’ll share in a later post. It is J’s signature dish, I was merely in charge of roasting the turkey! For other ideas on turkey leftovers, you can refer to my earlier post on “Sorry Turkey”.
The End Product
Hope your roasted turkey will turn out to be as succulent and crisp as ours! Enjoy!